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By Boye Lafayette De Mente

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Sample text

She added: "Most Koreans try so hard to please, to accommodate. " Another positive characteristic that Alexander singled out is Koreans' innate honesty. "It is fearsome," she said. "A taxi driver will hunt for hours to find a passenger who left money in his cab. Restaurant employees will go to extremes to return forgotten parcels and other items. " Vendors often leave wares on the sidewalks overnight, covering them with a plastic or canvas sheetto keep the dust and possibly insects off of them rather than to deter thieves.

The intricate and delicate nature of these personal relationships has led Koreans to favor using agents, brokers, and consultants in many of their dealings to help avoid getting directly involved in problems and losing face. Foreign companies are also often well advised to take this approach to doing business in Korea. A Penchant for Aggressive Behavior The Korean penchant for aggressive, often violent, behavior remains undiminished. They are also typically fearless when faced with any kind of challenge, whether it is a physical confrontation or a work project that seems insurmountable.

They must contend with Koreans who not only have been frozen in time for several decades but also have had a deep layer of strident communism plated over their traditional character, creating what could be called the "mother of all hahn," which now distinguishes them from their relatives in the South. Guidelines for doing business in North Korea are therefore significantly different from those that apply in South Korea. Outsiders must first deal with the pernicious influence of communist endoctrination combined with an obsessive degree of insular, bureaucratic nationalism that colors every area of business.

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